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French biomass industry warns against RED III


The government has received a warning from French biomass industry and wood sector leaders that the RED III modifications that were approved by the European Parliament on September 14 would be a “economic and ecological aberration.”

According to the bill approved by parliament, primary woody biomass would be subject to a limit and not be eligible for financial support. Additionally, it calls for a “phase-down” of the proportion of fuels made from primary woody biomass that contribute to EU renewable target by 2023.

The French state must “defend the actual and important contribution of energy from woody biomass to the forest economy and sustainable forestry, and not allow our energy and climate aspirations to be condemned,” a group of at least three countries said in a statement.

A group of at least eight business organizations issued a statement saying, “It is imperative that the French state… defend the real and indispensable contribution of energy from woody biomass to the forest economy and sustainable forestry, and not allow our energy and climate ambitions to be condemned.”

The statement said that shutting off access to public funding for energy produced from primary woody biomass and excluding it from the EU’s renewable energy definition would have “severe ramifications” for the whole French economy. According to the collaboration, bioenergy, which includes energy made from primary woody biomass, is crucial for sustainable forest management in order to help trees adapt to climate change and reduce the risk of fire.

The consortium stated that the stringent regulatory framework governing logging in France and the execution of the current RED II guideline demonstrate the “exemplary nature of the French wood energy sector” through very close monitoring and exact criteria for traceability and sustainability. In light of the significant geopolitical instability, it was further stated that energy produced from wood is crucial to our energy independence.

Due to wood energy’s relatively steady and cheap prices in comparison to imported fossil fuels, the statement claimed that abandoning locally produced wood energy would imply increasing our imports of fossil fuels and would have an impact on consumers’ purchasing power and businesses’ ability to compete. 66 percent of primary biomass should be used as a carbon sink rather than being burned, said Pascal Canfin, a member of the European Parliament, at the French Renewable Energies Syndicate’s annual congress on September 29. Wood accounts for 36 percent of all renewable energy produced in France. At the congress, the RED III draft’s position on the French industry was also discussed.

Following negotiations with EU member states, the language voted by the European Parliament on September 14 still needs to be approved into law. EU nations came to an agreement in June reaffirming support for the European Commission’s original July 2021 proposal that member states refrain from promoting the use of high-quality roundwood for energy production “except in well-defined circumstances” and from granting support to the production of energy from “saw logs, veneer logs, stumps and roots.”